If you are unsure about any of the following directions please feel free to contact the Returning Officer and Oxford SU Leadership Elections Team at email@example.com
Regulations - Regulations set out the detail for running elections and referenda, and for handling related complaints.
Any person wishing to be a candidate must nominate themselves via the SU Website
Regarding becoming a candidate
To become a candidate a nominee must attend, or notify the Elections Team in advance if they cannot attend, the essential candidate briefing on Monday 3rd February bringing with them;
the nominee will then become an official candidate.
If the candidate is making a manifesto they must provide it as a plain text document. Candidates may have a formatted manifesto too.
Any images used must have an image description.
Manifestos should be a one sided A4 size with a minimum font size of 10pt. This sizing applies to both plain text and formatted manifestos.
Manifestos must be emailed to the Returning Officer, and Deputy Returning Officer, by midday Friday 7th February. You must include the name of anyone who is involved in the design process clearly on the manifesto. The Returning Officer can send back any manifesto that fails to meet this direction, contain unlawful, false, misleading or offensive material or which references other candidates.
Sabbatical Trustee candidates have an expense limit of £40
Student Trustee candidates have an expense limit of £25
NUS Delegate candidates have an expense limit of £25
Candidates must declare all items used for campaigning and must not spend more than their expenses limit. Candidates cannot financially support another candidate.
Already owned equipment, which it is reasonable to assume all other candidates will have access to an equivalent of, are permitted without deduction from expenses.
The use of paid software, for which widely available alternatives exist, are permissible. For example: free photo editing software, such as Pixlr Editor can be used as an alternative to Photoshop if needed, or free video editing software, such as Da Vinci, can be used as an alternative to paid applications.
Expense forms must be handed in to the Returning Officer at 4 Worcester Street by midday Thursday 13th February.
The Hustings will be held on Monday 10th February and will be moderated by the Returning Officer. The Returning Officer must choose a chair who cannot be themselves.
Campaigning can begin after the manifestos are published on Friday 7th February. Any candidate publishing campaign materials before this time is in violation of this direction.
Individual messaging is permitted.
Candidates can only campaign in digital spaces they don’t control if other candidates for the same position also have access to campaign there. For example, group chats or Common Room Facebook Groups.
Campaigns must focus on why that candidate is the best for the role. Candidates are not allowed to run negative campaigns. This means criticising another candidate’s campaign or their character. However, there will be the opportunity to respond and critique the other candidates’ policies, manifestos, and answers in the hustings.
Regarding unofficial campaigning
Any individual producing campaign material in favour of a candidate will be considered as if they are the candidate themselves, unless the candidate specifies to the Returning Officer that they’ve not been involved with the campaigning of the individual, and can show evidence they’ve made reasonable efforts to discourage the individual’s campaigning. The Returning Officer will communicate with all parties involved as soon as a dispute arises.
Candidates may not seek or claim the endorsement of Oxford SU employees (including current Sabbatical Trustees, external trustees, or student trustees), Student Council or any of its committees, Oxford SU Schemes, or Projects.
Campaigns and Non-Oxford SU organisations can endorse candidates provided no candidates;
a) take part in a vote which could lead to an endorsement
b) make an executive decision to make an endorsement
c) be involved in the communications of an endorsement
Campaigns must only endorse a candidate following a simple majority vote in which all Full Members can participate. Campaigns may endorse as many candidates as they like. We encourage Non-Oxford SU organisations to hold a vote on endorsements in the same manner.
Candidates are encouraged to engage with the media, particularly the student press and radio. In the interests of fairness, you should make a reasonable effort to inform other candidates for the same position of any contact that you have with the media so that they can pursue the same opportunity.
Regarding Mailing Lists
Candidates are not permitted to use pre-existing mailing lists.
Non-Oxford SU organisations may use mailing lists for endorsements.
Any mailing lists created for the purpose of campaigning must be opt-in and deleted immediately after the election.
All complaints must be submitted within 24 hours of the complainant becoming aware of the incident and before midday Thursday 4th Week Hilary, except;
a) those referring to incidents taking place after midday Thursday 4th Week Hilary but before the publication of the results, and
b) those referring to the counting of votes,
which must be submitted within the 24 hours following the publication of the results.
Regarding Printed materials
The Elections Committee would like candidates to reduce the amount of printing they do during the campaigning period. Therefore, candidates must not spend more than £5 on printing and may only print A4 or A3.
Printing will be deducted from the candidate’s expenses limit, even if printing is in realtiy free, at the following rate:
Black and white A4
Black and white A3
What is a complaint?
A complaint is a formal allegation about the conduct of the election, often that a person has failed to comply with Oxford SU’s Regulations in some way. This is usually that a candidate has failed to act so as to ensure that the election is “fairly and properly conducted”.
What is a ruling?
The Elections Committee and Returning Officer have the power to issue Rulings, which can either be “interpretations” (deciding what the Bye-Laws or Regulations mean) or “directions” (relating these governing documents to a specific case or the elections in place). A person may make a complaint against you if you fail to comply with a Ruling. Any Rulings will be published on the Oxford SU website, and sent to all candidates.
Who handles complaints?
There are three bodies that handle Complaints:
- Returning Officer (the RO)
- External Appeals Officer (the EAO)
- The University
Most complaints are heard in the first instance by the RO (firstname.lastname@example.org), and should be copied to email@example.com. If you are dissatisfied with the RO’s judgment, you may appeal to the External Appeals Officer via firstname.lastname@example.org. The External Appeals Officer is someone external to the SU, student body and University. If you are dissatisfied with their judgment you may appeal to the University.
What is the deadline for making a complaint?
The Elections Committee have decided that all complaints must be in by Thursday 4th week, midday. They can, however, change this deadline if they think it is necessary to ensure a fair election. It is better to submit a complaint as soon as you become aware of an incident. Deliberately delaying your complaint to try to gain some electoral advantage may harm your complaint and may be grounds for a complaint against you.
Does a complaint have to be in a particular form?
If you make a Complaint, your Complaint must: Be sent to the RO (or for appeals, External Appeals Officer via email@example.com) Be written clearly and concisely Include the full name and college/hall of the person bringing the complaint Provide a full description of the circumstances of the complaint If appropriate, include a full description of any allegation of non-compliance with the Regulations, or with any ruling made by the Elections Committee or RO If you are the subject of a complaint, the RO or External Appeals Officer must provide you with: The full name and college of the person bringing the complaint A statement of the allegation against you A copy of any evidence or written or oral representations submitted The opportunity to be heard and to make written representations.
Can I be represented by someone else during the complaints process?
If you want, another student can represent you in the Complaints process.
What is the process for hearing a complaint?
If you are involved in a complaint, you must act so that the complaint is handled properly and fairly. If you’re thinking about using complaints in a vexatious way just to tie your opponent’s down: don’t. In this case, a complaint could be laid against you for impeding the RO in their duties, or failure to ensure that the election is fairly and properly conducted.
The RO or External Appeals Officer will invite the person making the complaint, the person who is the subject of the complaint, and any other interested person to make oral or written submissions.
What is the outcome of a complaint?
If the complaint is lodged with the RO, a decision will be made whether to uphold the complaint. The decision will be issued promptly to the complainant, and any person against whom a complaint has been made. The judgment will usually summarise the complaint, give reasons for the judgment and specify what remedy (if any) is ordered.
Can I appeal a decision?
The complainant, or any person against whom an allegation is made, can appeal the RO’s decision to the External Appeals Officer. Any such appeal must be lodged in writing with External Appeals Officer within 48 hours of receiving the RO’s decision. Any appeal of a decision of External Appeals Officer may be referred to the University.
What are the possible remedies that can be imposed?
If a complaint is upheld, the RO or External Appeals Officer must decide on an effective remedy, relative to the issue that led to the complaint. The exact remedy will depend on the situation, but will not include any payment of money. It may include, for example, an order to apologise, or to withdraw certain campaign material, or may order that a candidate’s maximum expenditure limit be reduced. In extraordinary cases, the External Appeals Officer may order that a candidate be disqualified.
What's the university's role in elections?
Primarily it is worth remembering that while taking part in Oxford SU Leadership Elections, all students remain subject to all the University and Proctors’ powers to discipline. This includes the University’s policies on harassment. Any appeal against a decision by the External Appeals Officer regarding a complaint will be heard by the University.